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protests against any such doctrines, and in the most explicit terms, enjoins them to "submit themselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake; whether it be to the king as supreme, or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evil-doers, and for the praise of them that do well." He disclaims the application of any injunction of their teachers, to the political opinions and institutions of the day, and desires his followers to put an end, by their conduct, to this notion, set on foot by the ignorance of foolish men, who are unacquainted with the spirit of Christ's religion. He tells them that, though they be "free in the Lord," they are not to "use their liberty as a cloke for mischief"," but as servants of God. He distinctly intimates the same doctrine which our Saviour himself, and St. Paul also, set forth—that the object of Christ's religion was not to new-model, or to interfere with the institutions and governments of the day. It left them as they were; and gave the general rule of conduct to its professors, that governments were ordained by God, and that, for his honour, and (at that time especially) to remove an unjust stigma from his religion,

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they should set an example of good order and submission, that thus " they should put to silence the ignorance of foolish men

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II. We are to consider the nature of the obedience due to our rulers, and the benefits which will result from it.

As I have just observed, the Christian religion avoids all direct interference' with the

* 1 Pet. ii. 15.

▾ The reader will, I am sure, peruse with pleasure and advantage the following quotation from Mr. Canning's speech, in which, with his usual eloquence and discrimination, he most ably comments upon the custom of dragging forward the name of religion as a stalking-horse in the discussion of party and political questions; a custom entirely at variance with the spirit of the Scriptures, and the practice of the Apostles, and likely to bring discredit upon religion by promoting fanatical cant and pharisaical display.

"God forbid that I should contend that the Christian religion is favourable to slavery. But I confess, I feel a strong objection to the introduction of the name of Christianity, as it were bodily, into any parliamentary question. Religion ought to controul the acts and to regulate the consciences of government, as well as of individuals; but when it is put forward to serve a political purpose, however laudable, it is done, I think, after the example of ill times, and I cannot but remember the ill objects to which in those times such a practice was applied. Assuredly no Christian will deny that the spirit of the Christian religion is hostile to slavery, as it is to every abuse and misuse of power: it is hostile to all deviations from rectitude, morality and justice; but if it be meant that in the Christian religion there is a special denunciation against slavery, that slavery and Christianity cannot exist together, I think the honourable gentleman himself must admit that the proposition is historically false; and again I must say, that I

political and civil institutions of the time. We may perceive, at the same time, not only cannot consent to the confounding, for a political purpose, what is morally true, with what is historically false. One peculiar characteristic of the Christian dispensation, if I must venture in this place upon such a theme, is, that it has accommodated itself to all states of society, rather than that it has selected any particular state of society for the peculiar exercise of its influence. If it has added lustre to the sceptre of the sovereign, it has equally been the consolation of the slave. It applies to all ranks of life, to all conditions of men ; and the sufferings of this world, even to those upon whom they press most heavily, are rendered comparatively indifferent by the prospect of compensation in the world of which Christianity affords the assurance; true it certainly is, that Christianity generally tends to elevate, not to degrade the character of man; but it is not true, in the specific sense conveyed in the honourable gentleman's resolution, it is not true that there is that in the Christian religion which makes it impossible that it should co-exist with slavery in the world. Slavery has been known in all times, and under all systems of religion, whether true or false. When Christianity was introduced into the world, it took its root amidst the galling slavery of the Roman Empire; more galling in many respects, (though not precisely of the same character,) than that of which the honourable gentleman, in common, I may say, with every friend of humanity, complains. Slavery at that period gave to the master the power of life and death over his bondsman: this is undeniable, known to every body: Ita servus homo est! are the words put by Juvenal into the mouth of the fine lady who calls upon her husband to crucify his slave. If the evils of this dreadful system, nevertheless, gradually vanished before the gentle but certain influence of Christianity, and if the great author of the system trusted rather to this gradual operation of the principle than to any immediate or direct precept, I think parliament would do more wisely rather to rely upon the like operation of the same principle, than to put

the greatest delicacy in avoiding all direct interference with them, but also a peculiar care to induce individuals to fulfil the various duties of every station of life, and to pay their governors and superiors every tribute, which the existing regulations of society have empowered them to require. And our Apostle says, "Submit yourself to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake, whether it be to the king as supreme."

Now the question before us is, What are the limits and the nature of this submission, as far as they can be collected from Scripture?

To this we answer, that, in the first outset, what we have just intimated must be borne in mind, that religion does not directly interfere with political institutions, it gives no rules for the guidance of whole societies in state emergencies. Its precepts are calculated for the direction, and are addressed to the consciences of individuals, whether governor or governed. With respect to submission and obedience to lawful authority, it appears to teach in distinct terms the following doctrines.

1. That to the king, and to all that are in authority under him, obedience is due, not

forward the authority of Christianity, in at least a questionable shape.”—Quarterly Review, LX. 584.

only for wrath, but for conscience sake; not merely from the fear of punishment, but knowing that this is the will of God. Under this head I comprehend the following duties; the payment of taxes and customs, the rendering due and appointed marks of respect to persons in stations of authority, ready submission to the operations of the law, and the decision of its dispensers. Not to multiply authorities on a well-known point, we say, in the comprehensive words of St. Paul, "Render, therefore, to all their dues; tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour".

2. The Scriptures clearly intimate, that cases of individual hardship and injustice, do not form a sufficient ground for refusing submission to the public authorities. Both our Saviour and his Apostles, suffered under cruel and wilful oppression and injustice, yet they not only themselves attempted no resistance to the laws, but also discouraged it in their followers".

In the administration of the best laws, and by the best men, cases must occur, in which individuals will suffer injustice, and hardship. Nothing but Omniscience can entirely prevent

* Romans xiii. 7.

Matt. xxvi. 52. 1 Peter iii. 16, 17.

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